Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nearly Here

It's almost over. I can tell. I did a test this morning, on CD12 and it was negative. I was so hopeful that I'd willed my left tube open this month.

Like many people's blogs I'm reading this week. I'm ready for 2009 to be over. I don't mean to wish my lift away, but this year has been big ole bitch. I'm glad to see it go. I love that we got married this spring, but other than that, it has sucked balls.

I'm tired of making New Year's resolutions that I never keep. This year, I thought of just making a to-do list. Like...

  1. Plant my vegetable garden on time.
  2. Learn to sew a quilt.
  3. Hem my pants with my new sewing machine.
  4. Can more stuff with the bazillion tomatoes I'm planning to grow.
  5. RELAX and enjoy the vacation we've got planned for January and February.
  6. Start on my book, hopefully with the help of my soon to be newly formed writing group.
  7. Start a cleaning schedule and STICK TO IT!
Do you do New Year's resolutions? If so, what's your success rate?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Left Ovary Gets a Star

I had my cycle day 12 ultrasound today and they found 3 beautifully mature follicles.


YAY, Go ovary!

Yeah, but there's just one thing. They're all on my blocked side. That's right folks. My left tube is supposedly blocked and all these babies-to-be are nestled inside my left ovary. Whose a lucky girl?

I just keep praying that the HSG was wrong and that my left tube isn't even blocked. It's a horrific procedure and I can totally imagine why a fallopian tube would freak out and spasm like crazy when out of nowhere, somebody starts shooting dye in it. So, that's what I've told myself. My tube is NOT blocked! In yoga today, I focused all my healing breaths right at my left fallopian tube. I imagined a beautiful gold light there and I imagined exhaling anything that's blocking it right out into the air. I'm positive that it worked!

I also have a horrible story about the cluster eff that I ended up with while trying to get my trigger shot filled. What a nightmare. Keeping it short - I had to give the shot to myself. My weekend had been so crazy and I've been in such a rage these days (I blame the Clomid!) that I could have cared less about sticking a needle in my belly. It was no big deal. It didn't hurt, and I'd totally do it again. I'm sort of glad this happened because on the off chance that I don't get pregnant this cycle, there's a chance we'll be in Vegas next month on the day I'd need to trigger. This way, I can just do it myself. Who needs doctors!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cycle Day 3 Ultrasound

I had my cycle day 3 ultrasound today. Boy, my clinic runs awfully efficient. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. I'm not kidding!

This clinic opens at 7:00 am Monday-Friday and 8:00 Saturday and Sunday. Anybody who needs cycle day 3 labs or ultrasounds just shows up between 7-8 during the week or 8-8:30 on the weekend. They give you a number and then call back 4 or 5 girls at the same time. We walked in a group dropping a girl in each exam room along the hall. The ultrasound only takes about 2 minutes then you go back to the waiting room to wait for the nurse.

her "everything looks fine. do you have your Clomid?"
me "yes, I picked it up yesterday."
her "OK start taking that tonight and come back on December 13th (Sunday) for your ultrasound. Bring the trigger with you, you should have refills on that, too."

And that was that. Several hundred dollars for 30 minutes. Infertility is big business!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Failed Clomid Cycle, Officially

4 days late but it's finally here. Boy, is it here!

Maybe I'm weird but I think the first 2 weeks of the cycle are way better than the last. I can't stand the two week wait. The phantom pregnancy symptoms, the emotional roller coaster of "I think I'm pregnant!" and "There's no way I'm pregnant" is too fucking depressing. I hate it. I much prefer the part where I'm working towards something, rather than just sitting around waiting for an answer.

In writing that last sentence I realize I have a major problem with just waiting. It infects every part of my life. When my husband was still deciding about whether he wanted to try to have a baby, the waiting nearly drove me crazy. And because of that, I nearly drove him crazy. I really struggled to give him the time he needed to work through his natural decision making process. I make decisions rather quickly and then just start working towards the goal. That is not to say that I make decisions haphazardly. In fact, I do tons of research for even the most miniscule decisions. But I do it swiftly, weigh the options, decide then act. It works for me most of the time, but when I have to consider the feelings and pace of another human being (my husband) or acquiesce to my ovaries, I go sorta crazy. The waiting and inaction can really turn me into one crazy bitch.

I think I just had a light-bulb moment. I have no idea what to do with it, but that was definitely a light-bulb.

Monday, November 30, 2009

She Won't Call It Negative, Yet

17 days past ovulation
spotting since 10dpo
negative pregnancy test

I have read all sorts of stuff on the web about Clomid causing a longer than usual luteal phase but I decided to call my RE today, anyway, to ask what I should be doing.

me "I'm 3 days late but with a negative pregnancy test. Does the Clomid cause a longer cycle?"
her "Not really."
me "Well, what should I do?"
her "Wait until you are 10 days late and test again and call me with results. Negative, I'll give you something to make you start. Positive, we'll do blood work and an early ultrasound."
me "I don't think I'm pregnant. I've been spotting since 10dpo just like I was doing before my period in prior months."
her "Well, not necessarily. A lot of women have spotting in early pregnancy."
me "Is it possible that my 'spotting' could have been my actual period?"
her "I don't think so. Your endometrial stripe was 9mm so you should have a normal period."

Just when I'm getting past the sadness of another negative, she throws me a bone. Stringing me along like a bad boyfriend.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On Age

I read a blog post the other day that really resonated with me. Romancing the Stone wrote about how comfortable she was with her age. It's something I've been obsessing about for a year or so. I'm 42 now. I'm 42 now. Wow. Even writing that is weird to me. But when I think about it, I don't think I'd change anything. I needed every single experience I've had to get to where I am today. And, although there are a lot of things I'm struggling with today, I know I'm in a good place.

I find myself staring at mothers I pass wondering how old they are. I constantly think about what it would be like to be the 62 year old mother of a 20 year old daughter and the struggles that might bring. I think about what it could be like for my child to bury his/her mother, maybe even before building a family to cry with. But the funny thing about it is that I never spend a single second thinking about the good things that would come from having a baby later in life. I'm in a loving relationship now for the first time ever. I'm more financially secure than I've ever been. I have the wisdom of a 42 year old woman which could go a long way when giving advice to an impressionable child.

Today I'm trying to embrace my age. To be OK with it. I don't want to view it like a fertility death sentence. I'm starting to believe that we AMA's have been negatively convinced by all that we read and all that the doctors tell us, to such and extent that it is really preventing us from getting pregnant. I don't want to be that girl anymore.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Clomid Cycle

I'm just finishing my first Clomid cycle. Like many others, I was just sure it had worked this time. Then this morning, the spotting started.

100mg on days 3-7. I didn't think the side-effects were that terrible. Not like I expected. Although I did have some sort of emotional breakdown over this old country grandma on Wife Swap.

To be honest, I was just so happy that I even responded to the Clomid. My FSH was 12 when I had it tested a few months ago. And I'd read that that usually means you won't respond well to ovarian stimulation drugs. I ended up with one 20mm follicle and two 13mm follicles on my right side. This is the side with the open tube but only a partial ovary. I triggered on day 12. Then the TI started. I really hate it. It's so unnatural and stress-inducing for both of us. We only managed to hit around 12 and 26 hours.

I guess I'll do another cycle. I'm curious to see what happens on my left side, assuming that I alternate ovulation like normal people. I think what happens on the left might give me a better idea of how seriously I should consider IVF.

I'm close to conquering my caffeine addiction. I've reduced my intake from over 800mg per day to under 100. I'm hoping after tomorrow I'll be caffeine free forever. I've had some really terrible, and surprising side-effects that I just knew were early pregnancy symptoms. Like insomnia. Who ever heard of caffeine withdrawal causing insomnia?

And I'm still having that pelvic discomfort from ovulation to my period. I don't even want to think about what that could be.

So, that's that. I can't believe we've been trying for 8 months already. Depressing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cautious Optomism

I've been so afraid to write anything for fear I'd start spewing insults about my husband over his sudden doubt about having a baby. Today things feel better.

My husband is one of those glass-half-full type of dudes. He is my favorite person in the world and my best friend, but his negativity has always driven me crazy. What I mean is that he tends to place more weight on the bad stuff in life than the good stuff in life. He looks at the wackness - I look at the dopeness.

Since the death of his father, all he can think about is how he wouldn't want to bring a child into this world that would eventually suffer like he has, over the death of his father when he dies. For me, the frustrating part of this is that we have taken nearly a year to come to the decision to try to have a baby, then in one day it felt like it was all gone. I felt like there was a dream sitting right in front of me, within my reach, then somebody came along and stole it while I turned away. Unfair!

And just when I was starting to try to envision a life without this imaginary family I've grown attached to over the past year, something changed with him. A coworker who he trusts and admires came back from maternity leave. They had a candid conversation about his recent doubt over and she told him "I'm a pretty negative cynical person but I haven't had a bad day since she was born. Even when my grandmother died, I wasn't that sad because she just brings so much joy to my life. This could be exactly what you need to brings some light to a very dark time in your life." Praise God!

I guess sometimes it just takes a neutral party to help you see things differently. She didn't say anything particularly different from what I've said to him over the past 2 months, but when it comes right down to it, I've got an agenda with him and she doesn't.

I'm feeling more hopeful today but at the same time my evil self is sitting on the right saying "don't get your hopes up. You've been here before. It could all still be stolen."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Verdict Is In

Cyst on left ovary. 2.1 cm x 1.7 cm.

Blocked left tube.

Only part of a right ovary.

Damn near 42 years old.

Lucky me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fear and Pelvic Pain

I've been having quite a bit of pelvic pain over the past 2 months. It started last cycle when I had really bad pain during ovulation. The pain stopped right after ovulation but then started again around cycle day 21 and didn't stop until after my period was over. This month it has continued right through my period and I'm scared.

I have an appointment with my OB/GYN in the morning. They'll do an ultrasound first and I'm just praying everything is OK.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Infertility Hath No Boundaries

Words I need to say but can't. I am so sorry that I'm so fixated on having a baby that I'm being insensitive and unsupportive.

Today I was bitching and complaining about something he said (3 weeks ago!) and he burst into tears. "I feel like I am being judged like a normal person, like everything is normal. Nothing is normal. I think about him all day every day. I am trying to move forward but I'm dying inside. I never thought I'd miss him this much. I realize now that nobody ever loved me as much as he did."

Infertility takes over everything. Sometimes I wish we'd never decided to have a baby. It's turning me into somebody that I hate. That I'm afraid he'll end up hating, too.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

About My Caffeine Pill Addiction

I've been addicted to caffeine pills for over 10 years. One morning I was sleepier than usual so I tried to drink a cup of coffee but I found the taste really disgusting. I remember thinking "if I could just find this stuff in pill form." Years and years later, it's still the way I start every day. There is no telling how much money I've spent on these pills or what it has done to my internal organs. My husband calls it my "crack." He hates it.

I've quit 2 times for about 3 months each time. Once when I was having panic attacks on a regular basis (can you imagine how stupid it is for somebody with panic disorder to take several caffeine pills every day?) and when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I needed surgery to remove my thyroid and since they were going to be shooting me up with all that anesthesia, it seemed like a good idea to do what I could to reduce my chances of contributing to my own death by mixing caffeine pills with the already kinda dangerous drugs they were going to give me.

And in the interest of transparency, I take so much caffeine during the day that I need something to help me sleep. I've had periods of my life where I took actual sleeping pills to go to sleep but thankfully I kicked that habit months ago. Now I just use Benadryl (I say that like it's OK but I'm aware that it's not.) I've bought about as much Benadryl over the years as I have caffeine pills.

I'll be 42 next month. We've been trying to get pregnant for 5 months and I know that studies have shown women who consume caffeine are way less likely to get pregnant, yet I continue to take the pills. Insanity! I've cut back. I'm only taking it in the morning as of the past week or so. And last night I went to bed Benadryl-less. I saw my Acupuncturist yesterday and I'm pretty sure she'd like to fire me. "Have you stopped taking the caffeine pills yet?" I'm spending all this money on Acupuncture and Yoga yet not doing the one thing that I know is contributing to me not getting pregnant. I'm a genius! I'm ashamed of myself.

I'm taking the month of September to get my shit in order. Including cutting out the caffeine once and for all. We're not trying this month. For reasons I don't really want to talk about right now. Instead of sitting around pouting about it and feeling sorry for myself, I'm really going to try to focus on wellness.

By the way, I have no idea where I am in my cycle. I'm either at 5.16 with heavy spotting (my temp is still up) or I'm at 6.2 with a very light period and a high temp. Tests = negative.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today is day 5.14. (month 5 of trying to conceive and day 14 of this cycle)

I've been spotting and cramping consistently for days. Still, my mind plays tricks. Maybe I'm pregnant.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yoga for Fertility

I had my 4th private yoga lesson tonight. I don't really feel all zen and calm like I'd hoped, but considering the hell stress I've been through over the past few weeks, maybe this is as zen as it gets.

I first read about yoga for fertility in the book Fully Fertile. The book is a 12 week holistic program designed to prepare you for conception and includes everything from diet to exercise. The first part of the book is dedicated to yoga and there are pictures and detailed instructions on how to do the poses which are specifically designed to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Since the book also recommends acupuncture, which I'd been wanting to try again (for fertility this time), I made an appointment with an acupuncturist in my area who has a lot of experience treating infertility. When I went for my initial consultation with the acupuncturist, I was thrilled to learn that I could get private yoga lessons right there in the same building. Not only that, they had a copy of the same book, Fully Fertile, on the shelf. I made an appointment with the yoga instructor and told her that I'd like her to show me how to properly do the poses from the book and when I showed up for my first yoga lesson, she'd done her homework and we moved right into positions that would target my reproductive organs and to relaxation poses because, well, I was sort of freaking out on many levels at that point.

If I was rich, I'd have at least one private yoga session and an acupuncture treatment every week. I love the idea of it and I am so in love with the clinic that I never want to leave. It's the most peaceful place I've ever been to.


OK - I get it. Infertiles seek out and befriend other infertiles because nobody else understands what they're going through and some of it is just too embarrassing to talk to regular people about.

Consider me labeled.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Trying To Conceive Is Making Me Crazy

It's sad how the mind can play tricks on you.

This month, I was just sure I was pregnant, again. Even though we were officially "not trying" this month, we had unprotected sex on day 12 and 14 and since I had a positive ovulation predictor test on day 13, it seemed like we really did "try" after all. At the exact right time.

I started taking (or "using" - I still don't know what to call what I do with them) the Progesterone 2 days after the positive ovulation test but unlike last time, I had some pretty serious pregnancy-like symptoms. Like a big dork, I started taking pregnancy tests 8 days past ovulation.

Cramps starting 10 days past ovulation - no biggy! maybe "my uterus is just growing" (I've read that on a million fertility sites.)

Spotting with cramps starting day 11 - no biggy! maybe it's "implantation bleeding" (I've read that a million times, too.)

And even though I was vehemently opposed to all this infertility hoopla, for the past 2 days I've taken negative pregnancy tests, photographed the test then tried to do all sorts of shit to the picture to visualize a second line that is clearly not there.

I'm ashamed of myself.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pregnancy Test Results

12 Days Past Ovulation

Monday, August 3, 2009

Feeling Very Normal

My breast soreness and hugeness is pretty much gone. I have no idea what the hell is going on with my body. I'm not sure if I was simply experiencing symptoms of the newly started progesterone and my body has gotten used to it now, or if my egg is getting fertilized but it's not implanting properly. I swear for the past 2 months I've felt pretty significant symptoms around implantation time but they always go away.

I'm also very crampy. I haven't had any spotting at all with the progesterone but for the past 3 nights I've had what feels like menstrual cramps. I'm thinking it's because I'm only using the progesterone at night so by the time the next evening rolls around and it's been nearly 24 hours, maybe I am about to start my period. Until the next progesterone dose.

I may go buy a pregnancy test to take in the morning. A waste of money I'm sure.

Friday, July 31, 2009

How Progesterone Is Making Me Feel

I started taking progesterone about 5 days ago and all of a sudden my breasts are huge! And sore! I'm using Prometrium 200mg pills but I'm using them as suppositories per my doctor's direction. At first I thought maybe the breast thing was a pregnancy symptom but according to the Internet, it's just one of the side effects. Lucky me.

My father-in-law died on Tuesday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Demotions Hurt Feelings Answered Prayers

As if I wasn't stressed enough trying to handle everything going on in my life while I try to get pregnant, I got demoted today. Punch!

Even though I've put in years of hard work for this organization and many many long hours that kept me from my family, I don't know why I'm surprised. They're cut-throat and I always knew that.

The best part is that they want me to go in tomorrow morning and pretend like this is my idea, not theirs. If you knew me, you'd know that's just not how I roll. I'm not a bullshitter, to a fault. I suppose if told people what really happened "you can take this other position, or we will process a termination immediately", that could make them look bad - GOD FORBID!

I've been praying for nearly two years for some help with my job situation. Since I was promoted to manager, it's just been hell. I'm a really good leader, but very mediocre manager. I hate it. I hate the politics of it all. I hate firing people, writing them up, shaming them into doing stuff. Basically, I do suck at the job. But, being demoted from a manager to a supervisor in a completely different section is going to be riddled with rumors and embarrassment. I wish it was next Friday.

The good thing about this is that, well, maybe it is an answer to my prayers. I really have been overly stressed for 2 years and I blame work for 75% of that. Trying to have a baby at my age has just made things worse. Not to mention, now I'll be able to enjoy the Bulls games without worrying whether I'll be able to leave work in time to make it to the game at 7:30 and I probably won't feel obligated to be tied to my blackberry waiting on the next shit storm from my boss, half paying attention to the game.

At this point I'm just rambling. I'm hurt and embarrassed. And relieved and pissed off. And hurt and embarrassed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Don't Call Me Infertile!"

Last August when my guy gave me the first inkling that he was re-considering having kids, I rushed over to my OB/GYN to see what I needed to do to start getting my body ready. Just in case.

When I mentioned to her that we were "negotiating" about it, she immediately goes "OK great! I'll refer you right over to a fertility specialist!" Wait! What? But I don't want that. I haven't even started trying yet! But at your age and blah blah blah...

I refused. I was already taking prenatal vitamins prescribed to me by my Internist when I told her we were thinking about it. That day my OB/GYN did a few blood tests including a genetic test for Cystic Fibrosis which I found weird since nobody in my family or his has it. But, whatever, it's a blood test. But as I was leaving the office, the doctor hands me this piece of paper meant to explain another test she wants me to have. At the top of the page I read


I was pretty offended by it. Having not even started trying to conceive yet, I couldn't understand why she would assume I was infertile based on my age alone (I was 40 at the time).

I don't like labels. I feel like labels like "Infertile" and "Alcoholic" push people into victim-hood. Before you know it, you're hanging out with a bunch of other people who've been labeled like you and the next thing you know, the label has defined you as a person. I just don't see the point of it. To me, it seems much more productive to not own these labels.

In the end when we did finally decide to start trying, I had the "basic infertility workup" after all. Day 21 Progesterone level was 18. "Anything over 10 is good" they told me. Still, here I am shoving progesterone pills up my privates for the second month because, even though my numbers were OK, the very month we starting actively trying to conceive I started spotting like mad the entire week prior to my time I was supposed to start my period.

I'm starting to view this whole fertility/infertility thing a little differently now. That, or I'm getting sucked in just like all the others.